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Georgia Student Growth Model: new educational tool for the 2014-2015 school year

The Georgia Department of Education launches a new program for measuring academic progress among students. It’s called the Georgia Student Growth Model (GSGM). GSGM or the Student Growth Percentile (SGP) methodology is designed to collect data on the amount of growth a student has demonstrated relative to academically-similar students from across the state. Click here visit the Georgia Student Growth Model online.

Instead of measuring students against their classmate’s achievements, the SGP model will identify students with similar test score achievements, and using testing data collected be able to show a growth improvement among all achievement levels. Growth percentiles range from 1 to 99, with lower percentiles indicating lower academic growth and higher percentiles indicating higher academic growth.

The new measuring tool allows students and parents receive student growth reports, work with their teachers to understand a student’s specific performance level and tailor his or her academic support needs. The online data is also accessible to the public, but only for an overall view of district achievement and accountability. By measuring student’s progress in the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), SGPs combined with other measures, provides an overall indication of individual schools and districts effectiveness and secondary education readiness.

Finally, SGPs are one of multiple measures used to provide an indication of teacher and leader effectiveness through the Teacher and Leader Keys Effectiveness Systems (TKES and LKES). Critical to educational growth are well prepared teachers. In taking steps to develop students, Georgia is also impacting student achievement by providing programs and resources to enhance teacher and leader effectiveness. Among those efforts include: Title II, Part A grant awards, teacher and leader effectiveness systems and professional learning.

The new Georgia Student Growth Model enters the 2014-2015 school year as the state also replaces the CRCT and EOCT with the new Milestones Assessment System (Georgia Milestones). There are critics of this new standard test as it is considered to be much harder than the CRCT and EOCT for high school students. The Georgia Department of Education admits that Milestones may mean initially lower scores than the previous years’ CRCT or EOCT scores. But the state says the goal is to bring Georgia’s tests in line with other indicators showing how students are really performing, while better preparing them for colleges and careers.

As Georgia seeks to obtain its objective of a “more realistic picture of academic progress”, the new Georgia Student Growth Model will serve as a critical measuring tool toward the goal of building successful students.